The Grand Finale


Well, that’s a wrap!  This will be my last blog post as the Junior League of Tampa’s Cookbook Co-Chair and Social Media Coordinator…

This year has been a whirlwind and I have tried to relish every moment of it.  Who knew working with nearly 40 women running a cookbook business would be so much fun?  From selling our cookbooks at the Junior League of Tampa’s record breaking Holiday Gift Market, to the local farmers markets and expos.  I have enjoyed every minute of sharing our award winning recipes with the Tampa community, the entire country and even the world!

We’ve sold cookbooks this past year to our friends up north in New England’s coastal town gift shops, out west to the great foodies of California and to countless small towns in-between.  Just last week, we hand delivered orders to some of our best and oldest customers; a local Mom and Pop bookshop, a restaurant that has been a family business since 1963 and an international airport which sees nearly seventeen million travelers from all over the world annually.  The footprint that our cookbooks have on our League and community goes far beyond the Tampa Bay area.  At the same moment I’m gifting one of our cookbooks to a girlfriend as a wedding gift, a world traveler from Europe is picking up a cookbook at the airport gift shop to take home and share with his family.

Our recipes don’t simply result in a delicious dish; they share of piece of our heritage, history, community and the mission of the Junior League of Tampa.  Founded in 1926, the Junior League of Tampa, Inc. is an organization of over 1,800 women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving communities through effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable.

So for my final blog post, I figured why not go out with a bang?  Or at least some fireworks!  The 4th of July is right around the corner! With that being said, I’d like to dedicate the recipes I’ve selected for this blog entry in spirit of our Nation’s Independence Day to the independent and fearless women that represent Junior Leagues all over the world.  With the funds raised from cookbook sales and a variety of creative fundraisers, you continue to strive to make our communities a better place!


2012-2013 Junior League of Tampa Cookbook Co-Chair

“A menu to celebrate our Founding Fathers AND Founding Mothers.”

Red Rockets
EveryDay Feasts
This recipe is two drinks in one!  Serve over ice as a light, refreshing beverage- perfect for a summer get-together- or straight up in martini glasses for a sophisticated cocktail.

2 cups cranberry juice
1 cup fresh orange juice
1 cup orange-flavored or regular vodka
¼ cup lime juice
Fresh cranberries
Orange slices or lime slices

    Combine the cranberry juice, orange juice, vodka and lime juice in a pitcher and mix well.  To serve on the rocks, refrigerate until very cold and serve over ice.  To serve frozen, freeze in a plastic container for 2 to 3 hours or until slushy and serve in martini glasses.  Garnish with skewers of cranberries and orange or lime slices.
Yield: 4 servings


Sassy Salsa
The Life of the Party
This is a great appetizer for any gathering.  Serve with blue or red tortilla chips for even more color and flavor.

2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, drained, rinsed
1 (16-ounce) can corn, drained
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
¼ cup chopped green onions
¼ cup chopped red onion
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon cumin
Salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1 cup chopped avocado
1 (4-ounce) can green chiles (optional)
Hot sauce (optional)

    Combine the beans, corn, cilantro, green onions, red onion, lime juice, oil and cumin in a large bowl and mix well.  Add the salt and pepper.  Chill, covered, for up to 24 hours.  Stir in the tomatoes, avocado and green chiles immediately before serving.  You may also add hot sauce to taste if desired.  Serve with corn chips or crostini.
Yield: 6 cups (12 to 15 servings)

Florida Key Lime Pie with Gingersnap Crust
Capture the Coast
A Tampa native shared this incredible, decades-old recipe for this iconic Florida dessert.  No trip to the Sunshine State is complete without a slice.

1 ½ cups crumbled gingersnap cookies
¾ cup sweetened flaked coconut
¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
½ cup Key lime juice
1 teaspoon lime zest
4 egg yolks
Whipped cream
Toasted sweetened flaked coconut

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Pulse the cookies in a food processor until finely ground.  Add ¾ cup coconut and pulse to mix.  Add the butter and pulse to mix.  Press over the bottom and up the side of a 9-inch pie plate.  Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool on a wire rack.  Maintain the oven temperature.  For a nuttier flavor, toast the coconut.
    Combine the condensed milk, lime juice, lime zest and egg yolks in a bowl and beat well.  Pour into the cooled crust.  Bake for 7 to 10 minutes or until set.  Let stand until cool.  Top each slice with a dollop of whipped cream and sprinkle with toasted coconut.  The pie also may be made using a graham cracker crust.
Yield: 8 to 10 servings


***Also a must have for any Fourth of July BBQ, Savor the Seasons’ Sweet and Spicy Summer Ribs.***
“Get great-tasting oven-baked ribs, or use the outdoor grill for an old-fashioned smoky flavor.  The sweet, spicy rub works well on meats, chicken and fish.”

You can purchase  the entire collection of Junior League of Tampa cookbooks at


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